How To Recycle Your Running Shoes

I’ve been procrastinating a new pair of running shoes for a few months.  As usual, I managed to find something else that needed to be done before getting rid of my holey walking buddies.  In this case I decided to figure out where to recycle my old running shoes before I sport a new pair.

There are a few programs you can take advantage of for shoe recycling.

Nike offers the ReUse a Shoe program.  They break down your old shoes into three parts – rubber, fabric and foam.  Every part of the shoe is recycled and used.  The rubber is melted down for running track surfaces, the fabric goes into padding for basketball courts and the foam becomes a springy tennis court surface.  Some of the other ways the recycled materials are used include weight room flooring, playground surfaces and synthetic turf infill.  Click here to find a Nike ReUse a Shoe Drop-Off Location. provides a shoe recycling directory.  Click here for a drop off locations map.

Many running shoe stores participate in a recycling program – contact your local store to inquire.

Recycle Running Shoes

For gently used shoes that still have some life left, there are organizations that give shoes to those in need.

Soles 4 Souls collects shoes from various companies and individuals and redistributes those shoes to people in need.  For a collection location near you click here.

Shoe4Africa donates shoes to those in need.  In addition to addressing Hookworm, a horrible barefoot disease, Shoe4Africa also provides for HIV/AIDS Awareness programs through sports.  Click here for information about how you can mail your gently used shoes to Africa.

Also check with your local shelter or charity – clothing and shoe donations are in great need.

What will you do with your old running shoes?

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